Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Alfie enjoying a spring walk

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Alfie is one of the over 30,000 pets suffering from heart disease that vet charity PDSA cares for every year. Alfie was diagnosed with heart disease in 2018, and his owners were told he would need lifelong medication they could not afford. 

Partly thanks to the money raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, PDSA has been able to provide Alfie, and many others like him, the long-term care they need to keep alive and well. 

Alfie’s owner, Jacky Webb, said, “Alfie has been a rock for us over the last year. I care for my disabled brother Jeffrey, who is severely autistic and blind, and Alfie has helped us both through these very challenging times.

“The amazing team at New Cross PDSA Pet Hospital have ensured his pills were delivered throughout the lockdowns. And to know that the cost of all of his essential medication this year is covered by players of People’s Postcode Lottery is wonderful – we’re so thankful for their support!”

Lynne James, a vet with PDSA, added, “While any dog can develop heart problems, certain breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known to be more prone to this condition. Problems can develop at any time in their life, but frequently surface as pets get older.

“While most heart diseases can’t be cured, the good news is that they can be successfully managed to keep pets well and comfortable for many more years.”

Signs of heart problems in your pet include

  • Slowing or stopping on walks
  • Heavy breathing or breathlessness
  • Breathing a lot faster than normal, even when they’re resting
  • Coughing
  • Falling over or fainting suddenly (often while exercising or excited)
  • A bloated stomach (caused by fluid build-up in the abdomen)

If owners notice any of these symptoms in their dog they should contact their vet as soon as possible for advice.

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